2016 Faculty & Staff Award Recipients

2016 CNAS Faculty and Staff Awards

CNAS recognized outstanding faculty and staff for the fifth year at a reception on April 27, 2016. The award winners were nominated by departmental personnel committees, department heads or students. The nominations were then reviewed by a faculty committee for the faculty/staff awards and by a student committee for the student nominated award. The award winners receive a certificate and a small monetary award. We are proud to announce the following award winners for 2016!

Atwood Research and Teaching Award

The Atwood Research and Teaching Award was endowed by Dr. Jerry Atwood, a 1964 graduate of Missouri State University and now an internationally known chemist. He started his career at University of Alabama in 1967 but has been the department head at University of Missouri-Columbia since 1994. In addition he was appointed a Curators Professor starting in 1999. The award winner receives a certificate and $2500 to be spent over the next year on students, research supplies, summer salary or travel.

The 2016 recipient of the Atwood Research and Teaching Award is Dr. Nikolay Gerasimchuk, Professor in the Department of Chemistry.

Dr Nick Gerasimchuk, Atwood Research and Teaching Award recipient with Dean Jahnke 
Dr. Nick Gerasimchuk with Dean Tammy Jahnke

Dr Nick Gerasimchuk, Atwood Research and Teaching Award recipientDr. Gerasimchuk is an outstanding recipient of the Atwood Research and Teaching Award. He incorporates research-relevant topics into his courses and maintains a very active and productive research group. He has published 43 peer reviewed articles since coming to Missouri State University in 2001, including five in 2015 and three more accepted for publication for 2016. He and his students have given over 50 presentations at meetings during his 15 years at MSU, including five presentations in 2015. Nick filed for a provisional patent in 2015 for “New IR emitters” and has four other patents or provisional patents based on work done at Missouri State. Nick has had external funding for many of the his years on campus – his most recent an NIH R15 Area Award of $396,400 that was still active in 2015. He has also won many awards at MSU for both his research and teaching including the 2014 MSU Foundation Award in Research.

In addition to his research efforts within the university, Dr. Gerasimchuk is highly involved with research efforts within the profession. These include chairing the Midwest Regional American Chemical Society Meeting in 2013, serving as a program chair at numerous ACS meetings, chairing the Missouri Inorganic Day in 2006, 2011, and 2016. He also recently organized the 2016 Mid-south Inorganic Chemistry conference at Missouri State. During 2015, Dr. Gerasimchuk served as a guest editor for a special issue of Current Inorganic Chemistry dedicated to his research specialty cyanoximes.

In teaching, Dr. Gerasimchuk teaches CHM375 Inorganic Chemistry and CHM376 Inorganic Preparations. He also teaches a variety of graduate level courses including Organometallic Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, and special topics courses on Spectroscopy. Students often comment about his dedication to his research and teaching and to the challenging but enjoyable nature of his courses and labs.

CNAS Excellence Award – Staff

Martha Templeton, Dean Tammy Jahnke, Angela Plank 
Martha Templeton, Dean Tammy Jahnke, Angela Plank

Martha Templeton, Staff Excellence Award recipientMartha Templeton, Administrative Assistant for the Department of Mathematicsis described as proficient, dependable and self-motivated. She assists in monitoring and maintaining the department’s budget by creating requisitions and travel expense forms, reconciling P-card transactions, and logging all transactions. She hires and supervises all student workers in the office and assists with the schedule building process.  Martha is always there to help the faculty and the students in the department – a true team player.

Angela Plank, Staff Excellence Award recipientAngela Plank, Laboratory Supervisor for the Department of Biology, has a strong work ethic and does a consistently excellent job. She professionally represents the department, CNAS and MSU as an advising coordinator and student recruitment coordinator. Angela is the triage advisor for biology – the first advisor that all students see in the department from first-year students to transfer students. She also serves as the student recruitment coordinator for the department, representing the department at many recruitment events and hosting visit days for OTC students each semester. In addition, Angela is an excellent lab instructor for microbiology classes.

CNAS Faculty Excellence in Service Awards

Melanie Grand,   Lisa Reece,  
Melanie Grand, Janice Greene, Bob Pavlowky, Dean Tammy Jahnke, Lisa Reece, Kathy Hughes

Melanie Grand, Faculty Excellence in Service recipientMelanie Grand, assistant professor in the Department of Hospitality Leadership was nominated by the department’s personnel committee. They wrote in their nomination, “Melanie Grand’s service record has been consistent, relevant, and meaningful. Her activities range from judging regional hospitality events to reviewing papers for an international conference, and from serving as an on-going ambassador for the department, college, and university to generously supporting the department through the MSU Foundation. She is compassionate, purposeful, and steady in her service-related activities and has been an integral contributor to the growth of the HRA Department regarding its reputation and impact.”  She serves on the university’s honorary doctorate selection committee, college council and many departmental committees. Professionally, Melanie is an active member of International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE)

Janice Greene, Faculty Excellence in Service recipientJanice Greene, professor in the Department of Biology, has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to service. Janice serves as a board member for the James River Basin Partnership and the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society. Currently Janice is chairing the university’s executive budget committee and serves as a member of several university committees including:  Human Subjects IRB, Sustainability Advisory Committee, Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, and Study Away Advisory Committee. Janice directs and coordinates the Biology Department’s Advisory Board which meets twice each year. As Director of Bull Shoals Field Station, she has established programs including on-going assessment of water quality, biodiversity and climate factors that are serving a much-needed baseline for understanding environmental issues in the Ozarks.

Bob Pavlowsky, Faculty Excellence in Service recipientBob Pavlowsky, professor in the Department of Geography, Geology and Planning, serves on review panels for the National Science Foundation and currently serves as the Past President of the Geomorphology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Locally he serves on the Fly Ash Storage Citizen Advisory Group for the City Utilities Water Quality Protection Project. At the university and college level, Bob has chaired the Faculty Senate Budget and Priorities Committee, served as a member of the CNAS Budget Committee and currently represents CNAS on the Executive Budget Committee. Bob’s most significant recent service to his department was as chair of the ad hoc committee to revise the GGP reappointment, tenure and promotion guidelines. Bob regularly speaks to community groups on environment issues related to his research fulfilling our public affairs mission.

Lisa Reece, Faculty Excellence in Service recipientLisa Reece, instructor in the Department of Chemistry, has been highly involved in service activities. She has the lead role on the department’s dual credit committee, and as chair, she has made significant efforts in determining the qualifications of the dual credit instructors by evaluating resumes and transcripts. She has also taken a lead role in communicating with each dual credit instructor about all expectations of dual credit chemistry at MSU. Lisa has helped with science competitions including Science Olympiad, the Ozarks Science & Engineering Fair, local science fairs, and the Chemistry Olympiad. She has visited high school classes, mentored new teachers, and presented science lessons at local schools. Lisa Reece is not only an excellent member of the chemistry department in terms of service to the department, college, and university, but she also exemplifies the public affairs theme of MSU through her community volunteerism and involvement.

Kathy Hughes, Faculty Excellence in Service recipientKathy Hughes, instructor in the Department of Biology, serves on two very important university committees. First, she is a member of the pre-med committee which is a very time-consuming but rewarding committee as they are given the privilege of interviewing all premedical students on the MSU campus. As part of the interview process, they write letters of evaluation and determine appropriate levels of recommendation to medical schools. Second, Kathy is a leader and champion for the new BS in General Studies degree program that was recently approved. This committee worked very, very hard over the past years to help bring this to where it is today. A passion of Kathy’s is community safety and she has brought the passion to the classroom as she coordinated C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) training for Missouri State University students as part of the biology curriculum.

CNAS Faculty Excellence in Research Awards

Michelfelder, Jahnke, Barnhart 
Gary Michelfelder, Dean Tammy Jahnke, Chris Barnhart

Paul Durham, Faculty Excellence in Research recipientPaul Durham, distinguished professor in the Department of Biology, has continued to be an example of an exceptional researcher and collaborator within the scientific community at MSU and abroad. He consistently seeks for and obtains external funding from government agencies and contracts with the private sector. He publishes research in highly respected international journals with student co-authors, which not only advances his field, but provides opportunities for his students to be successful in their future research or medical careers. Paul’s current students include eggshell membrane hydrolyzates, silver-resistance in clinically isolated enterobacteriaceae, broth compositions and their use as prebiotics and the role of salivary neuropeptides in pediatrics. Paul is constantly seeking answers to interesting and important questions with this research group.

Chris Barnhart, Faculty Excellence in Research recipientChris Barnhart, distinguished professor in the Department of Biology, continues to perform exceptional research on freshwater mussels and his research has been critical for the maintenance and reintroduction of endangered populations in the Ozarks and around the world. He continues to be highly productive in both publishing and in the acquisition of grant funding as he works in conjunction with several state and federal government agencies to not only perform basic research on mussels and stream ecology, but also to help in the development of management policies and federal guidelines for toxicity. He trains both graduate and undergraduate students in his research program. 

Gary Michelfelder, Faculty Excellence in Research recipientGary Michelfelder, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, Geology and Planning, has already established an impressive research record and aggressively pursues external funding. Gary studies volcanoes in the Americas from Brazil to Bolivia to the United States. His work includes the study of geochemistry and crustal differentiation processes at various volcanic sites. In his first two years on campus, he has successfully directed and completed seven undergraduate and graduate research and independent study projects, all of which have resulted in poster presentations at conferences. His goal is to have a lab with an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer with a laser ablation system.

CNAS Faculty Excellence in Teaching Awards

Iqbal, High, Meyer, Jahnke, Ligon, Kim    

Razib Iqbal, Brian High, Janice Greene, Dean Jahnke, Day Ligon, Kyoungtae Kim

Brian High, Faculty Excellence in Teaching recipientBrian High, senior instructor in the Department of Chemistry, is an indispensable instructor of 100-level courses in the Chemistry Department. His student ratings are excellent both numerically and in written comments and his teaching load is significant. In all of his teaching endeavors, Brian’s student rapport is at the foundation of his teaching success. He very often has students in his office getting help, and written comments from his classes frequently praise his efforts in helping students understand the material. Thus, he is viewed by students as being both approachable and effective. Brian keeps his CHM116 online course updated to reflect book changes and the latest technologies, including many additional videos for the course. He often shares his expertise on teaching technologies with other members of the department, including new professors.

Kyoungtae Kim, Faculty Excellence in Teaching recipientKyoungtae Kim, associate professor in the Department of Biology, has been highly productive in teaching and student advising. He has developed and taught a wide range of courses, encompassing non-major general biology, upper-division cell biology, and advanced graduate-level courses. Importantly, he has received excellent evaluations in these courses by students. In addition to classroom teaching, Dr. Kim has also excelled in graduate student and undergraduate research mentoring, as evidenced not only by number of students, but by the quality of student accomplishments. This record is the result of his intense, day-to-day interaction with advisees, which instills a thorough understanding of hypothesis-driven research in them. As a result, his advisees regularly receive awards for research presentations internally and at external conferences. He received MSU’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2015 based on nominations from his students.

Day Ligon, Faculty Excellence in Teaching recipientDay Ligon, associate professor in the Department of Biology, is among the most popular faculty in the department although his courses are considered extremely challenging. His general physiology and advanced vertebrate zoology courses include a writing-intensive component and independent research projects which add to the challenge for students. Day also teaches larger lecture courses and averages 40 academic advisees each year. His numerous graduate and undergraduate research students experience broad training in both laboratory and field techniques, and frequently publish their research and make conference presentations, frequently receiving awards and grants.

Judy Meyer, Faculty Excellence in Teaching recipientJudy Meyer, associate professor in the Department of Geography, Geology and Planning, is one of the most dedicated, most hard-working, and most effective teachers in the department. She has played a leadership role within GGP and across the university in the development of new and innovative curricula that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries including the Sustainability and Museum Studies minors and the new certificate program in Environmental Education. These programs are designed to encourage students to develop skill sets that cut across various sciences and make robust connections to the arts, humanities, and business disciplines. In the classroom, Judy is an innovative teacher who employs a number of pedagogies to encourage her students to become active and engaged learners. For example, each student in her Principles of Sustainability course, which has a typical enrollment between 65 and 90 students, must complete a service project that requires them to connect concepts of sustainability to action in our community.

Razib Iqbal, Faculty Excellence in Teaching recipientRazib Iqbal, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, joined the Missouri State University faculty in fall of 2015. He is a hard-working colleague, and since joining the department, he has shown extreme enthusiasm in teaching, service, and research. He has made extensive use of Blackboard and other technology for teaching his classes. Most importantly, he has introduced research-based course projects which resulted in several presentations for CNAS Undergraduate Research Day. Razib is very popular among the computer science students, has industry experience which is helping him in his teaching, constantly encourages students to achieve high standards in course activities and beyond, and explores innovative teaching pedagogy and styles.

CNAS Student Nominated Awards for Faculty/Staff Excellence

Two faculty members were selected by students for this award – Dr. Jorge Rebaza (MTH) and Dr. Razib Iqbal (CSC).

Razib Iqbal, Dean Tammy Jahnke, Jorge Rebaza
One student said of Dr. Rebaza, “He motivated me last year to look into graduate school and after I decided I would apply, he helped guide me through the long, complicated process. With his encouragement and support I applied to schools and have been accepted to a university this fall. He helped me find my passion.”

Another student said of Dr. Iqbal, “He has kind of taken the CSC department by storm. He’s made it clear he wants to work with students to achieve larger goals to change the way we approach computer science.”

These two faculty members truly understand the power of knowledge, and they are always willing to help. They provide a learning environment where every student has the potential to succeed.

Jorge Rebaza, student nominated Faculty Excellence recipientRazib Iqbal, student nominated Faculty Excellence recipient
    Jorge Rebaza             Razib Iqbal